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You've Got Mail. Will You Get the Coronavirus?
The New York Times
March 25, 2020
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How long the virus lives on surfaces probably depends on a lot of conditions - time between how long some with the virus has touched, breathed or sneezed on or around the package, the type of packaging (paper, plastic, cardboard), temperature of when it was last in contact with the virus, how much active virus is on the package, etc. I am ordering a lot less but my rule of thumb is, I bring the package indoors and leave it by my front door for a solid four days. If i need to open it sooner than that I'll wear gloves to open the package. Perhaps it's overkill but I don't want to take unnecessary chances. I'm not ordering take out because I can't trust that someone who absolutely must work is taking every precaution necessary to prevent the spread of the virus. I'm older and don't have too many health problems but I can't afford to take any chances since I live alone.
"A representative for the U.S. Postal Service was unwilling to discuss current sanitization protocols. But the agency’s website reports that the only mail items receiving treatment are letters and parcels sent to ZIP codes beginning in 202, 203, 204 and 205, which serve federal government agencies in Washington, D.C. "
In other words, we take care of our own.
YOU'RE on YOUR "OWN".
As a precaution we just wear gloves and get the mail out of the box, then lay it out and spray it with lysol on all sides of the mail and leave it out on the porch for a few hours then go back and get it. Perfectly safe. Even though the mail may or may not be capable of carrying the virus, the mailman could be sick and contaminate it himself. you gotta consider the possibilities.
Not sure what it means but it was recently reported that the virus was found on surfaces inside that cruise ship that emptied out 17 days ago.
The virus lives in air for up to hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Common sense would tell you that if a delivery person is infected, coughs and/or sneezes in his truck, your package or around the packages you can get the virus on your package. Same with food delivery, the boxes and bags they touch can have the virus for up to 24 hours. Delivery people should be required to wear masks and gloves as much as restaurant delivery people.
So the answer is basically yes, but I'd say it's unlikely. Figure if you're not exhibiting symptoms yet, but working at the post office it's not like you're spreading your germs all over the mail anyway. Most of the mail handling is automated until it gets to the post office it's being delivered in. Then your specific mailman would have to be spreading it all over, and he'd have to get it on your specific piece of mail. My mother and father in law are paranoid about this, so they got my wife to do the same thing, they get the mail and put it aside until the next day before they touch it. Seems like a legitimate solution if you're truly worried.
I was talking to a couple of people who wear gloves when they go to the grocery store. I always wipe down the rails of the cart( even before this all started). I asked them if they disinfect every package they bring home. They said no. They also spray down the mail box but not the mail.
I used to teach critical thinking. It's a difficult thing to teach but with practice, my students learned to recognize the point of a piece of writing--a very simple exercise actually. This article does not give a yes or no answer because there is not a yes or no answer. That is the purpose of the article--to explain to the reader that there is no consensus on this issue and more study needs to be done. It is left to the reader to draw his own conclusions from the information given. Why do you all criticize an article that gives you a great deal of information enabling you to make your own decision?
If there is a 45 minute test that can determine whether you have COVID-19 it should the highest national priority. It needs to be manufactured distributed, and make available for wide speed use.
I've been putting mail from China in the sunlight since early January, and all other mail since about mid February. As long as your mail is heated in the sun a few hours before you handle it, the odds are very low. However, the odds of a package carrier, and more so a letter carrier, getting the virus are very high, as they pick up letters from thousands of individuals, any one of whom could cough or sneeze on the packaging or their hands. In turn, if your mail carrier has the virus and gets it on his hands, it will be on the packaging. If your letter carrier sneezes and/or coughs in the delivery vehicle with your letter, you're looking at a pretty heavy viral load. In cool weather the virus could remain viable for days. You need to expose your mail to sunlight for a few hours or air it out for a few days or wipe it down with some rubbing alcohol or very diluted bleach. Then wash your hands after opening. You don't need to worry about contents that have been in the mail for days, unless the weather along the whole route has been cold or you're receiving a cold package item. I wouldn't buy any cold package items period right now unless it's something you heat up before use.
Can I get a long story short instead of a history lesson, yes or no. Can we get it from mail deliveries?
Covfefe Whopper Lover
"The bottom line is that there is some hypothetical risk of viable viruses surviving on mail,” Lloyd-Smith said. “But given the time periods involved, this seems like a pretty minimal risk to the general public."
All you need to know. The ANSWER IS YES. Disinfect your mail people.
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